¬∑In sector rotation overnight Lehman downgraded their view on the European
equities to underweight from overweight, cutting their weighting to 12% from
24%. Lehman upgraded their view on the US equities to overweight from underweight,
boosting their weighting to 52% from 42%.
¬∑According to the Financial Times Deutsche Post [DPB.GE] is expected to begin
the formal sale process for Postbank in the next few days. According to the
article some value Postbank at about ‚ā¨10B. According to the Wall Street Journal
Lehman (LEH) is near raising $5B in capital, and May report a $2B loss in the
second quarter. The Wall Street Journal wrote overnight that JetBlue's (JBLU)
LiveTV unit is planning to buy Verizon Communications' (VZ) Airfone Network.
¬∑According to the Lundberg survey average regular gasoline prices rose to
$4/gallon on June 6th (+$0.21 over May 16). According to the survey, oil prices
of $139/barrel are sustained, gasoline prices could rise by $0. 30/gallon over
the next few weeks. The Ecuadorian Oil Minister said overnight that he sees no
need for OPEC to increase production. Goldman Sachs' Commodities Research Head
said overnight that oil prices may hit $150/barrel this summer system, noting
that demand for oil is weak, and supplies are even weaker. The Nigerian Oil
Minister said overnight that OPEC cannot affect current oil price volatility,
adding that a pre-Sept meeting would only fuel speculation. The Libyan oil
minister reiterated overnight that oil prices are expected to break the
$140-handle this month, adding that today's oil decline is a slight correction.
The minister also said that the oil market is well supplied and does not
warrant OPEC action.
¬∑In fixed income noews overnight, during the ECB's post-rate announcement press
conference last week the ECB's Trichet essentially confirmed that the ECB would
raise interest rates at the July policy- setting meeting. This topic has since
been widely discussed with some market commentators, such as Ambrose
Evans-Pritchard from the Telegraph, comparing the believed to be imminent rate
hike to the Bundesbank's ill- judged rate hike in 1987, which preceded the
Black Monday crash after the Dollar fell into a tailspin. The 2/10-year
inversion in Germany has widened since the open on the back
of safe haven buying into the short end of the curve as markets believe that an
ECB rate hike will hurt global markets as well as the 2009 Euro-Zone growth
outlook. The Bank of International Sentiments made some comments overnight
noting that, although US and European central banks have sought to raise market
liquidity, various monetary authorities have cut their holdings of fx reserves
in the banking system. The BIS pointed out that interbank loans have declined
since last August, adding that they sees a cautious return of risk tolerance
emerging. Furthermore the BIS said that the ABX index may be overstating the
projected losses on triple-A securities by more than 60% and the BIS sees such losses
¬∑According to the Wall Street Journal, on Friday, the top finance official for
the UK's opposition party met with the Fed's
Bernanke. The report said that both parties discussed ways to prevent a repeat
of the credit crisis. According to sources in Washington, the Financial Times wrote, US officials
are concerned about the recent rise in the EUR/USD pair following Trichet's
surprise comments last week. Some US officials believe that an ECB rate hike
will undermine efforts to prevent the USD from falling further against the EUR.
The article adds that currency fluctuations are expected to be discussed by the
G8. The UAE Central Bank Chief said overnight that the GCC currency could be
delayed beyond 2010, due to inflation. The Central Bank Chief added that the
Dollar will remain currency of choice in sovereign foreign exchange reserves.
Liam Halligan wrote in the Telegraph overnight that a decade on, the Euro-Zone
is still enduring the co-ordination problems that have bedevilled it from the
outset. France is set to grow almost 2% this year, Italy barely at all. The credit crunch has
sent Spain into a tailspin, but Germany will probably muscle its way through. So
where should the ECB set interest rates? Trichet hinted last week that with
Euro-zone inflation now at 3.6% rates may need to rise. That may suit
inflation-averse Germany, but it could crucify debt-driven
nations such as Italy, Spain and Ireland. The ECB's policy headaches just got
even worse. Trichet's clear signal on rates caused the Euro to rise, which sent
the dollar crashing. However, that dollar fall, in turn, sent oil spiraling all
the way to $139 a barrel. That, of course, raises Europe's energy costs, so provoking more
Euro-zone inflation. Trichet merely compounded the problem he was trying to
solve. As the downturn deepens, and political tensions rise, the policy needs
of the region's very different major economies - to say nothing of the little
ones - will somehow need to be reconciled. That is why I genuinely believe the
euro may ultimately not survive. Currency unions have endured only when - like
the UK and US - they've been fused after
generations of political union and held together by a federal tax system. The
euro, in contrast, is built on a series of policy conflicts, confusions and
¬∑On the speaker front overnight the IMF's Strauss-Kahn said overnight that he
sees EMU 2008 GDP higher than expected, adding that the ECB is acting as needed
to anchor inflation expectations. German Finance Minister Steinbrueck said
overnight that inflation is expected to average 3. 0% in 2008, noting that he
sees a high probability of 1.7% GDP growth in 2008. Steinbrueck added that
inflation is likely to dampen growth in 2009. The Dutch Finance Minister said
overnight that he is concerned about Euro Zone inflation, adding that we must
not be too quick to urge action on Euro exchange rate.
¬∑Looking ahead, there is only one economic release scheduled in the US today, the April pending home sales,
which are due out at . There is no new supply today, however
there are a few Fed speakers. The Fed's Geithner is scheduled to speak on
monetary policy in New York at , while the Fed's Rosengren is scheduled
to speak at a banking conference at . The Fed's Bernanke is scheduled to
speak at the Boston Fed conference at . Elsewhere the ECB's Noyer, and Trichet,
as well as the SNB's Roth are all scheduled to speak throughout the US session.
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Mon 18 Dec
10:00 EZ- final HICP Tue 19 Dec
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13:30 US- Housing Starts/Permits
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